Ferdinand I., * 1503
The later Emperor Ferdinand I, painting by H. Maler, 1521 (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna)
Ferdinand I, b. Alcalá de Henares near Madrid (Spain), March 10, 1503, d. Vienna, July 25, 1564, emperor, younger brother of Karl V, grandson of Maximilian I; in the agreements of Worms and Brussels was handed over the Austrian lands in 1521/22 and established the Austrian line of the Habsburgs; 1526 King of Bohemia and Hungary, 1531 Roman King, 1558 Emperor. In order to eliminate opposition and to enforce his power he executed members of the estates of Lower Austria, among others Martin Siebenbürger, in Wiener Neustadt in 1522. On account of Hungary he was involved in wars against the Ottomans (1529 First Turkish Siege of Vienna, 1532, 1537-1547). The peasant revolts in the Tyrol and in Styria in 1525/26 and the advance of Protestantism constituted the most serious internal problems. In order to strengthen the Catholic Church, F. called the Jesuits to Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck. He brought about the Treaty of Passau in 1552, and concluded the Peace of Augsburg in 1555. However, he did not succeed in enforcing the Peace of Augsburg in his lands. He several times granted concessions to the estates. Created central administration authorities: The Privy Council (Geheimer Rat), the Court Council (Hofrat), the Court Treasury (Hofkammer), the Court Council of War (Hofkriegsrat), and the Court Chancery (Hofkanzlei). In 1554 enacted the Ferdinandeische Hausordnung, a decree which defined how the hereditary lands were to be split up. He divided up the lands between his three sons. buried in St. Vitus' cathedral in Prague.
Literature: W. Hilger, Ikonographie F. I., 1969; P. Sutter-Fichtner, F. I., 1986.